Back in the Saddle Again

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I haven’t blogged in over a week. Nor have I Tweeted, Facebooked, or LinkedIn. I’ve fallen off my self-imposed schedule. Part of this is for good reason: I’ve been meeting with colleagues face-to-face, in Phoenix, Denver, and Breckenridge. Social media is great, but nothing will ever beat getting together with colleagues over a glass of wine or a couple of beers and talking shop. So that’s the good reason. The bad reason is that I got lazy. I got used to not writing. I took a little break, and the break became really comfortable. So now I’m having to force myself to get back in the saddle. The funny thing is, when I was writing every day, it soon became almost effortless. And therein, I think, lies the secret…and it’s really pretty simple:

Do something every day.

When I was producing my television show—Almost Live!, a sketch comedy show in Seattle—I was writing jokes every day. During part of that time I was also writing jokes for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I’d fax Jay about 20 jokes a day, and he’d generally use several of my jokes per week. People often asked me how I could come up with 20 jokes a day (which didn’t include the material I was writing for my own show). The answer is that because I was doing it every day, it became easy—almost effortless. It got to the point where reading the paper and writing jokes was almost like taking dictation.

I don’t have to write jokes on a daily basis now, and while I still have the ability, it’s more difficult. When you do something every day, it becomes ingrained. It becomes a habit. This is true whether you’re writing jokes for Leno, going to the gym, or leading a business team. You stay sharp. And your business reflects it.

So the secret is to do something—even if it’s something small—every day. Don’t let those muscles atrophy.

Paul McCartney once recalled writing the hit song She Loves You with John Lennon. “John and I wrote that one in a hotel room on an afternoon off. God bless [our] little cotton socks, [we] worked! Here I am talking about an afternoon off and we’re sitting there writing!”

The Beatles didn’t get to where they did by letting their muscles atrophy. They worked virtually every day. Now, mind you, I’m not saying they slaved away for eight to ten hours every day. Lennon and McCartney could toss off a hit song in an hour or less if they wanted to. The point, though, is that they did something every day.

So what did you do today to move your business forward? What did you do to keep those muscles from atrophying? What did you do to stay in the saddle?

Because I can tell you from experience: it’s easier to stay in the saddle in the first place than to fall off and have to climb back on.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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